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Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash

The Starbreeze Forums and Atari Forums for The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena each have threads complaining about the game's DRM, describing a non-revocable three-installation limit that does not allow further installations after it has been reached. This has inspired another protest centered on the reviews on the Amazon listing for the game, where an increasing number of reviews complain about the DRM. We contacted Atari about this and received the following response:

The protection on the PC version of The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena is an activation system with online authentication required the first time you install the game on a machine. The activation code lets you install the game on up to 3 machines, with an unlimited number of installs on each assuming that you dont change any major hardware in your PC or re-install your operating system.

If you reach the maximum number of installations you can contact the Atari hotline and if its a legitimate request you can get a new activation code.

We implement this protection in an effort to avoid early piracy.

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110 Replies. 6 pages. Viewing page 4.
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50. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 16:02 Creston
 
They don't understand that for some of us, that's an not acceptable option, and they lose money because of it.

Yup. But somehow to them the idea of losing thousands of sales because of their shitty DRM is still somehow better than the MAYBE thousands of people that now somehow... don't pirate the game... but instead... buy a copy? I guess? I dunno. I can't even figure out what they're trying to achieve here anyways.

If it was to delay the crack of the game by a full day, wow, congratulations, you've done that.

You've also created massive PR backlash against your already pisspoor PR company.

And why would you want to piss off the people that are willing to pay you?

The software industry is really the only industry that I can think of that treats its paying customers like shit. At SOME POINT you figure there's going to be a backlash because of this.

Creston
 
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49. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 16:02 the_culture
 
DRM raped da horses and rode off on de women!  
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48. Re: On Dark Athena DRM Apr 9, 2009, 15:58 necrosis
 
Was planing on getting this because i never got it years ago and it got hords of good reviews.

But because of this DRM shit, ill pass.
 
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47. Re: On Dark Athena DRM Apr 9, 2009, 15:53 Tumbler
 
Good thing I've still got the original and I can install and uninstall it whenever I want without worrying about activations. Guess I'll play that instead.

Ditto. I picked up the original at fry's for $20 way back and still haven't played it. I was expecting this new version to look a lot better and be something I'd be jealous of... so far that hasn't happened.

And this DRM thing is just absurd. Who is going to purchase this game in particular with this level of DRM? At least bigger games like Spore or Mass Effect command quite a bit more leverage as they are WAY more popular, but this game is a remake of an older game. You can buy most of what they are offering for discount prices on either the xbox or the PC with none of this BS. The newer content isn't available but from what I've read about the game it doesn't compare to the original game.

And the DRM on PC games that are multiplatform and clearly built for consoles makes no sense to me. I can rent 360 games and play them for cheap. Why am I going to pay WAY more to "rent" pc games? They just don't get it!
 
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46. Re: On Dark Athena DRM Apr 9, 2009, 15:46 theyarecomingforyou
 
The number Atari wants to be called costs 1,24 PER MINUTE thats nearly 2$, per minute ...
Ridiculous!

Seriously, how many times are you going to upgrade major components in the life span of a game installed on your machine? By the time you get around to doing so, the game will have already been dated and you'd have moved on to the next game.
I'm sorry but when I buy games I like to keep them and play them again after several years. I upgrade my system frequently and format my computer several times a year. Currently I'm dual-booting Vista64 with Windows 7 - if I was to do an upgrade then that would be it, I'd be out of activations. One system used in a moderate way. THAT'S ABSOLUTELY FUCKING ABSURD. It's bad enough that I have to manually deauthorise games I already own with SecuROM - Crysis Warhead, Far Cry 2 - but not being able to do so with only 3 activations means I'd effectively scared of installing a game I paid for.

It's gone beyond the days of DRM amounting to disc checks, which was bad enough considering I needed to apply cracks or juggle discs. Now they're basically saying "we think you're a thief - if you install the product too many times you'll have to call us up and we'll decide whether we like you or not... and you'll pay for the privilege". I use Steam because I like the convenience, as I'm able to install the client on any system with a net connection and start playing my games - great when I'm stuck out of town, for games like Bejeweled Twist or SlamIt Pinball. I don't like being effectively called a thief and having to worry about how many times I'm allowed to install a product I've paid for, meanwhile the pirates are playing it without issue.

I'm sorry but I can't say it enough... this is ridiculous. It's got to be stopped.
 
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45. Re: On Dark Athena DRM Apr 9, 2009, 15:41 Cthulhu
 
"We implement this protection in an effort to avoid early piracy.

TRANSLATION: "We implement this protection to give the Scene coders something to do as we know it will be broken quickly, and end up on Pirate Bay shortly thereafter but we just like/want/need to annoy as many legitimate customers as we can along the way".

Besides, we all know that the "smart" gamer never upgrades his/her hardware or OS....right?

Remember boys and girls, the DRM you save one day could be your own....

/sarcasm mode OFF
 
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44. Re: On Dark Athena DRM Apr 9, 2009, 15:40 Verno
 
That statement has cart before the horse written all over it. How, exactly, can you determine if you don't like? Say you do buy it and you don't like it, you're out $50. Is that fair? Sure, you can read reviews and try to gather what other people think of it, but then again those are other's opinions. Point being, it can be justified to try before you buy, imo.

Pirating it is just proving to them that their actions are valid. The suits who make decisions about product protection methods don't read message boards and have no idea why you are pirating something. You are providing ammo for them to keep doing dumb stuff like DRM. If you don't like DRM then the best thing to do is boycott the title - don't talk about it, don't tell your friends, don't buy it, don't download it. Pirating it sends no message other than the fact that you are a pirate. Not buying it tells them to do something different.
 
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43. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 15:38 GT
 
Atari is a pretty sad company yet is still somehow around after 20 years of various shenanigans so it wouldn't shock me to see them survive anything at this point.
That Atari is not this Atari. Only the name has remained from the beginning, and for a while even that wasn't the case when the company that owned the rights to the name was known as Infogrames.
 
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42. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 15:34 GT
 
Seriously, how many times are you going to upgrade major components in the life span of a game installed on your machine?
Seriously, more than three especially since it doesn't take a "major component" upgrade to trigger a new activation unless you consider a boot drive change to be major. People who buy a lot of these types of PC games also tend to change components especially hard drives and video cards quite a bit just to be able to play them. Those changes will trigger new activations. Sure, if this was for a grandma's PC, three changes might be enough for the life of the machine (and grandma), but it isn't. The very people who will exhaust their activations are the ones who would buy this game.

DRM-less would be best, but software companies need to do what they can to survive.
Well if they keep using this DRM, they won't survive if I have anything to do about it.

This comment was edited on Apr 9, 2009, 15:36.
 
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41. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 15:23 Verno
 
it would be way more interesting to watch you attempt to justify your pathetic existence itself

Why don't you threaten to beat me up over the Internet while you're at it? That would complete the raging e-bully image while you grossly overreact to everything people say.

Do you seriously think "Atari" will be around in 2-3 years, based on their past history?

I'd be a little surprised...

Atari is a pretty sad company yet is still somehow around after 20 years of various shenanigans so it wouldn't shock me to see them survive anything at this point.

This comment was edited on Apr 9, 2009, 15:34.
 
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40. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 15:23 eRe4s3r
 
The number Atari wants to be called costs 1,24 PER MINUTE thats nearly 2$, per minute ... in germany that is

Proof - http://www.atarisupport.de/

So yes, if you think thats not being ripped off by atari i am speechless ;p

Also sorry for writing securom before, this is Tages/SolidShield but uses the same mechanisms as Securom Online Auth used by Spore/Bioshock
 
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39. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 15:16 nin
 
Do you seriously think they will just want to rip you off?

Do you seriously think "Atari" will be around in 2-3 years, based on their past history?

I'd be a little surprised...
 
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38. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 15:08 Metasparks
 
Read again: if you change/upgrade any major components of a given machine, it will be considered a new machine. So, upgrade your computer three times and you'll run out of activations. Does that sound acceptable?

Seriously, how many times are you going to upgrade major components in the life span of a game installed on your machine? By the time you get around to doing so, the game will have already been dated and you'd have moved on to the next game.

they are not REQUIRED to give you new codes - they MAY or MAY NOT

Do you seriously think they will just want to rip you off?

Well, some people are more gullible than others...

It has nothing to do with me being gullible. I'm just more understanding than most. This isn't so bad. DRM-less would be best, but software companies need to do what they can to survive.
 
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37. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 15:08 Elessar
 
There is no justification for piracy ever. If you don't like it, don't buy it...

That statement has cart before the horse written all over it. How, exactly, can you determine if you don't like? Say you do buy it and you don't like it, you're out $50. Is that fair? Sure, you can read reviews and try to gather what other people think of it, but then again those are other's opinions. Point being, it can be justified to try before you buy, imo.

Or they could have just released a demo...
 
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36. Re: On Dark Athena DRM Apr 9, 2009, 14:57 Elessar
 
And people wonder why devs complain or choose not to make games for the PC and stick with consoles. It's because of all of this drama. By "this" I don't mean this forum, I mean what inherently comes from implementing DRM and the resulting backlash.

Granted, the devs/pubs create the very problems they complain about with DRM, but they won't admit or realize they're part of the problem. They'll just get turned off to the PC market for all of the backlash they're receiving. And by comparison, they'll have the cushy console market to run to.

I don't blame them for not wanting people to steal their games, but they're going about it all wrong. They're stopping people from buying them now.
 
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35. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 14:48 Ravenger
 
I love the original Riddick game. I love it so much I've re-installed it every time I've bought a new PC. I've re-installed it enough times on enough different hardware configurations that I'd have run out of activations if it used the same DRM that Dark Athena has.

Good thing I've still got the original and I can install and uninstall it whenever I want without worrying about activations. Guess I'll play that instead.

Also it looks like Atari have tried to be sneaky about the DRM and kept it quiet and didn't disclose it on the box or in the adverts, which is something I really dislike, and which could also run foul of consumer law.

I made a decision never to buy another limited activation DRM'd game after finding out that games had activations after I'd bought them, and I'm glad I found out about this in advance so I can make the easy decision not to buy it.

Can't publishers see that by using these DRM schemes they're alienating their core audience? You know, the guys with money who would actually buy your game and not pirate it?
 
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34. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 14:45 GT
 
I got Riddick and it's awesome, as was Mirror's Edge and all the other EA SecuROM titles I got.
Reports online say this game uses Tages plus SolidShield not SecuROM.

I have heard it is easy to request another activation limit, but I have never had to do it,
Given its history of financial instability and the number of times that the company has changed hands, I wouldn't trust that Atari will be around very long to give new activations even if it claims it's willing to do so.
 
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33. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 14:44 Mostly_Harmless
 
This kind of protection has little to do with stopping piracy, it is aimed at preventing second hand sales of the game. So I'm going to do exactly what I did with Dead Space and Mass Effect - Wait a few weeks and buy a used copy from ebay and then apply the inevitable crack.

That way the retarded publisher won't get a penny from me while I get a genuine copy that I can enjoy without restrictions.
 
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32. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 14:42 nin
 
Fuck Atari. I would have bought this game, now I'm letting it pass.

And as for the "unlimited installs per machine" thing, they keep saying that,

They don't understand that for some of us, that's an not acceptable option, and they lose money because of it.

And I have no problem with people pirating the game. Respect is a two way street, and when you treat your potential customers as thieves, you shouldn't be surprised when they either spend their money elsewhere, or they're vocal in protesting your practices...

I'm extremely disappointed. I was really looking forward to this...their bone headiness continues to amaze me. They can continue to cover their ears and pretend they can't hear, but they're only hurting themselves.

DRM only hurts paying customers. And why would you want to piss off the people that are willing to pay you?

 
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31. Re: Assault on Dark Athena DRM Backlash Apr 9, 2009, 14:35 Creston
 
Fuck Atari. I would have bought this game, now I'm letting it pass.

And as for the "unlimited installs per machine" thing, they keep saying that, but there's hundreds of threads over the net where SecuROM and TAGES simply chomp an activation even if you just reinstall on the exact same machine with the exact same OS.

Creston
 
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110 Replies. 6 pages. Viewing page 4.
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